Living a holistically healthy lifestyle.

What do you think of when someone mentions a healthy lifestyle? Do you picture the green kale smoothies, marathon runs, and toned muscles of dedicated health bloggers? If you do, you’re not alone, but the truth is that you can receive the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle without being so intense or complex. In fact, if you’re focusing on living a holistically healthy life, many daily health habits can be quite enjoyable.

Don’t get us wrong—weaving healthy habits into the fabric of your daily life still takes commitment, but it doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Everything in your body is connected, so living a truly healthy lifestyle means looking at your health holistically and setting aside time to care for your mental and emotional health as well as the health of your body. Not only will doing so safeguard your health for the future, but it will help you live a healthier, more energetic, and happier life in the short term, too. Here are 5 daily habits you can use to accomplish just that.

1. Lower your stress levels.

Being happy is good for you. It protects you against heart disease, helps you live longer, and boosts your immune system.

Conversely, feeling stressed or anxious can have serious impacts on your mental health, contributing to or causing depression or anxiety attacks. Chronic stress can also have an impact on your overall health, affecting your digestive system, immune system, heart health, and more. In fact, its impact on your cardiovascular system can even increase your chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. As a result, dedicating time to keeping your stress levels low is better for your mental and physical health. Be careful not to take on more work or obligations than you can handle. Spending a few minutes every day practicing mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, or writing a gratitude journal can also be incredibly helpful. You may need to experiment a little to find an activity that works best for you, but even spending 10 or 15 minutes a day on this can lower your stress levels considerably—and lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, and more in the process.

2. Make time for activities that bring you joy.

Another important aspect of caring for your health is simply making time for activities that bring you joy. Doing this can serve as a breather, helping you feel happier, less stressed, and less overwhelmed. You can choose anything, from painting to watching a movie or scheduling a game night with friends. Keeping your mind active with fun activities like reading and puzzles can also improve your cognitive function and help protect you from issues like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in the future.

3. Exercise daily

It’s pretty well-known that exercising is good for your physical health, improving your body’s ability to manage your blood sugar and insulin levels, lowering your blood pressure, helping with weight management, and decreasing your risk of health conditions like heart disease and stroke. It’s also good for your mental health because exercise affects your brain directly, providing it with better blood and oxygen supplies and stimulating the release of endorphins. The result is lower anxiety and depression, increased feelings of well-being, and even increased cognitive abilities.

Do a little exploration to find an exercise routine that you enjoy and that fits into your schedule. You can fit in several short, high-intensity workouts scattered throughout your day or opt for one or two longer workouts like a run, weight-lifting, or swimming. Yoga is a good exercise routine that can be adjusted to fit any fitness level and combines aspects of mindfulness, making it a great source of exercise and relaxation. Additionally, spending time outside is great for your physical and mental health, so exercising outside is a great way to give yourself a bit of an extra boost. Not only is the sun a natural source of vitamin D, but there’s evidence that spending time outside reduces anxiety, stress, and depression, lowers your blood pressure, and more.

4. Give your body healthy fuel.

Giving your body healthy fuel is also important to living a healthy life. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, as they contain important vitamins and minerals that your body needs to function. Multivitamins are great supplements, but your body simply absorbs nutrients better from food. When you eat a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates, it contributes to making you feel more tired and actually weakens your immune system. In contrast, eating right strengthens your immune system and helps you maintain a healthy weight while actively improving your mood and helping you feel more energetic. Drinking enough water—3.7 liters a day for the average man and 2.7 liters a day for the average woman—can also increase your energy levels by keeping you hydrated and cutting unnecessary sugars and calories from your diet.

Another part of giving your body the fuel it needs is making sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. The average adult should sleep between seven and nine hours a night. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you can suffer from fatigue, depression, and anxiety as well as a host of consequences for your short- and long-term health. These consequences range from a weakened immune system to an increased risk of heart disease. As a result, getting enough sleep at night isn’t just a matter of comfort—it’s a matter of your health!

5. Practice healthy hygiene.

Maintaining a healthy level of hygiene is better for your overall health, keeping your skin healthy and limiting the number of bacteria that make it into your body. Hygiene is just as important when it comes to your oral health, preventing tooth decay and gum disease. If these issues go untreated, they can actively harm your overall health by weakening your immune system, causing chronic inflammation, and increasing your risk of certain health conditions like heart disease and stroke.

A great oral hygiene routine should include daily flossing, brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, and using mouthwash according to the directions on the label. Another important aspect of maintaining good oral hygiene is scheduling a professional cleaning with Dr. Tyler every six months, so he is able to spot potential health issues early and clean hardened tartar from your teeth that you can’t remove at home. These habits will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy, which in turn helps keep your entire body healthier.

Build daily health habits a little more each day.

When you first start focusing on daily health habits, it may take a little work to make time in your schedule or find methods that work for you. Once you hit on the right schedule and methods, however, living a holistically healthy lifestyle can be incredibly enjoyable. You’ll be physically and mentally happier, helping you to fully enjoy every moment of the longer, healthier life that you’ll earn as a result.